I was thinking about the boot library we have in the Trading Post at Black Mountain Ranch. After going through all the cowboy boots that I have in my closet at home, I decided that it was time to move some over to the boot library so others can use them and I can have more room in my closet.
While going through my boots to see which ones might be worn out and which ones were not, I took a pretty close look at some of them. It may sound like I have a whole giant pile of them in my closet, but it really is only a couple pairs. Since I tend to put my boots on in May and don’t take them off until November, I tend to be pretty picky about my boots. I know exactly what brand and model I want, so I actually have multiple pairs of the same boots, in varying states of wear from the last couple years.
While scrutinizing each pair to establish its condition for possible retirement, I began to notice all the scuffs and stains on them and I remembered back to some of the stories that those scars tell.
That big oil stain on the left boot, up near the toes? That was a beautiful Colorado spring day, that I spent cleaning and oiling saddles on the porch of the Saloon. I think it actually took me 3 days to do them all.
The three curious curved parallel marks across the side of that one pair? Don’t let my Mom know this happened, but Ryan and I found out the scary way that if you only just bump someone’s foot with a running chainsaw, it won’t go all the way through the leather. I guess you just gotta push harder to really do any damage.
One thing all had in common was a shiny ring around the shaft, just above the ankle from many summers worth of the cuffs of my jeans rubbing and polishing the leather.
A couple of small burn spots across the top of the lower on one boot from Tom asking me to help him in the shop for just a minute, then giving me the old “Close your eyes and hold this while I weld it” treatment.
My point is this. All the boots at the ranch look pretty beat up. To call the boots in the library “broken in” would be generous. They are flat out beat up. But where the leather is scarred, there is a great story to tell and they all have plenty more room on them to make new scars and new stories.
It looks like I may have to get a new pair this spring. New boots are so boring…